DID YOU KNOW ?
Getting a good night’s sleep is indispensable, if you should want to improve your muscle-mass and -strength and should plan to hit the gym with proper intensity on the next day. During restorative sleep, anabolic hormones like growth hormone and testosterone are released, which increase protein synthesis and muscle recovery. Unfortunately, getting a good night’s sleep is often easier said than done; the following suggestions and supplement recommendations may help you to attain more effective and restful sleep.
Recommended lifestyle alterations to improve the length and quality of restorative sleep include to get sun exposure during the day, to make 79 hours time for sleep, to wind down at about 9 p.m. and to go to bed before 11 p.m., to keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet ( use earplugs !), to turn off your phones and all other screens well before sleeping time, to regularly engage in exercise during the day, but to avoid highly intense exercise sessions at night, to avoid caffeine within eight or nine hours of sleeping, to avoid heavy meals within 3 hours of bedtime, and – last, but not least – to restrict alcohol consumption.
Consuming alcohol at night deranges the circadian rhythm, suppresses melatonin and disrupts a healthy sleep architecture. The more and the closer you drink before going to bed, the more it will disturb a good night’s sleep, particularly reducing the REM sleep periods. While alcohol consumption may help to induce relaxation, to fall sleep quicker and to sleep more deeply for a while due to alcohol’s sedative qualities, it will diminish sleep quality and duration, leading to lighter, more restless sleep in the second part of the night; it may also make staying asleep for more than a few hours difficult and may cause awakening in the middle of the night, preventing to fall asleep again. In short, alcohol consumption is not useful for improving sleep and should not be used as a sleep aid.
An even worse approach to invoking a good night’s sleep is the use of pharmaceutical sleep medications, which comes at a major cost tohealth. Chemical sleeping pills may help you to fall asleep faster and reduce nighttime wakefulness, but don’t provide the same restorative benefits as natural sleep. Such sleeping pills tend to negatively impact normal sleep architecture by increasing the shallower non-REM-2 sleep and decreasing slow-wave deep sleep. Their worst side effect is that they often cause dependency within days or weeks of use, and, on withdrawal, can cause “rebound insomnia”, making it even more difficult to fall asleep, accompanied by a variety of other detrimental physical, psychiatric or neurological symptoms. Therefore, regularly relying on pharmaceutical drugs to attain sleep is not advisable and should only be the very last resort, when pain or severe illness may render getting any natural sleep impossible. But what to do, if a recuperative good night’s sleep yet fails to materialize, despite your best efforts to establish an ideal sleep routine and to implement all the above suggestions to optimize your sleep hygiene ?
Fortunately, there are a number of healthful natural supplements, which are not only proven to improve sleep efficiency and quality, but even provide various additional health benefits, are free of side effects at the specified dosages, and are safe for long term use without causing addiction. Although it almost sounds too good to be true, some of them will not only help you to sleep better and longer, but are even well-known to support your athletic endeavors in the gym. The final part of this article, which will be published next week, will provide information on some of the healthiest natural sleep supplements, which will, without doubt, even put YOU to sleep !!!